MILLER EARNS CAREER-BEST FINISH WITHFIFTH-PLACE AT MANSFIELD MANSFIELD, Ohio (May 28, 2006) -- Joey Miller earned his career-best finish when he placed fifth in his No. 12 Curb Records Toyota Tundra at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway Saturday ...
MILLER EARNS CAREER-BEST FINISH WITHFIFTH-PLACE AT MANSFIELD
MANSFIELD, Ohio (May 28, 2006) -- Joey Miller earned his career-best finish when he placed fifth in his No. 12 Curb Records Toyota Tundra at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway Saturday afternoon.
"It feels really good to finish in the top-five," said Miller. "Since qualifying was rained out on Friday, NASCAR set the field by owner's points and we started pretty far back. We were playing catch up from the beginning and trying to stay out of trouble."
Miller started 29th and advanced eight positions before making his only pit stop of the 250-lap event at Lap 29.
"I think Jack Sprague were the only two that pitted," said Miller. "Our pit strategy worked out well for us. Before pitting, we were loose in and loose off."
A tenth of the way through the City of Mansfield 250, Miller stayed out and entered the top-15 as others trucks ahead of his No. 12 Curb Records Toyota Tundra pitted under caution. By Lap 93, the 21-year-old was shown in seventh-place. 20 laps later, Miller was faced with a potential penalty by NASCAR because his right rear quarter panel was hanging off ofhis truck. Miller scrubbed the wall around Lap 114 and avoided the sentence when the piece was ripped from his truck.
"My crew chief (Johnny Allen) told me that NASCAR was going to make us come in on the next lap," said Miller. "I ended up scrapping the wall and that knocked it off. We are fortunate that happened and that we didn't get a penalty. We were running sixth at the time."
Following the eighth of caution the day, Miller restarted fifth on Lap 121 at the .44-mile oval. On a restart 22 laps later, the Minnesota native was in fourth-place and held on to his position until Lap 217.
"Johnny Benson was behind me forever and then he finally was able to complete the pass and take over fourth," said Miller. "We did our best to hold him off, but he got by us."
After recording his first top-five career finish, Miller gained three positions in the driver's points standings and is currently in 19th-place. Darrell Waltrip is 20th in owner's points after gaining nine positions and is only five points from the next place.
"We were pretty far back in the points and this fifth-place finish helps us a lot," said Miller. "It's what we needed to help us turn our season around. We ran well and we all worked well together and it shows."
Miller was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race and his Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team was awarded NASCAR's pit crew challenge for the first time this season. Between the 12 and 17 Toyota Tundra teams, they have won a total of four times in seven starts.
"David Reutimann's team leads the points on that pit crew challenge deal, but we'd like to give them a run for their money," said Miller. "It's neat to see the guys be recognized for their hard work. Hopefully, we can do the same at Dover."